It starts with a flashback. Michonne’s pet walkers restlessly pull against their chains as Andrea and Michonne huddle nearby, keeping warm by a small fire. Finally, a scene where we find out just why Michonne is so beholden to Andrea, even though Andrea straight up chose the Governor over her. Finally, a scene about the fragile human connections that tie us all together, even in a world as crazy as this one.
Oh, no wait. This is just another scene where Michonne is brooding and Andrea is indignant. Andrea asks Michonne where she got her walkers from – did she know them? Michonne at first refuses to answer, but then blurts out that the two men on chains behind them weren’t even human to begin with. Ever heard that phrase “A fate worse than death?” or “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy?” Well, not true for Michonne. In fact, she takes a fate worse than death and makes it… well, even worse, by chopping off the arms and jaws of those that harm her.
Fast forward: the Governor prepares a torture cellar, presumably for Michonne. He clamps two chains between stanchions and tests their durability with his own weight. Later, he prepares his torture paraphernalia: precision tools and a dentists chair equipped with handcuffs. When Milton happens upon him, The Governor engages in some light philosophical debate – do the biters have any of their previous human selves left? The Governor thinks they do…. And therefore he cannot forgive Michonne for killing his daughter.
After weeks of hedging, Andrea finally decides to get the hell out of Dodge. But only after Milton literally stays her hand just as she’s about to snipe the Governor. It’s another annoying ploy to squeeze every second out of this infinite plot – Andrea’s had plenty of chances to kill the bossman, which, for various reasons, she declined to take. Now that she’s finally come round to the right side of the line, there are more obstacles. Namely, Milton – why, again, doesn’t Milton want the Governor killed? Oh right, because then Martinez will take over. Sure, the henchman is probably just as bad as the villain, but couldn’t they take their chances? I mean, in all likelihood, Martinez probably doesn’t keep a fish tank full of undead heads. In that, at least, they’d be coming out ahead.
Instead, Andrea decides to escape from Woodbury. A very poorly thought-out plan, in fact. She walks straight up to the wall and gives Tyreese and Sasha a flimsy story about Martinez needing them on the other side. When they don’t buy it (shocker) she decides to go over the wall, pulling a knife on them in order to get away. She also makes a cryptic remark about the Governor not being “all he seems”.
Tyreese and Sasha are shaken, but their lot is about to get a whole lot worse – Martinez recruits them, along with Allen and his son, for a special project at the pit. Tyreese figures out pretty quickly that the Governor means to let a whole bunch of biters loose on the prison group, and he’s not down with that. When Allen pisses him off (again), Tyreese nearly drops him into the pit: perhaps a signal of the brute hiding within Tyreese’s gentle-giant appearance? Seriously, though – Allen should know better than to throw a punch at a guy who is at least twice as big as he is. Even money says that Allen’s not long for this world.
It’s not long before the Governor catches up to Andrea and she is forced to hide in an abandoned warehouse. For 20 minutes of screen time, old Philip stalks her like prey, creepily whistling and dragging his shovel (for those who weren’t previously aware of his total noxiousness).
After their riveting (not really) cat and mouse game, Andrea is finally able to get away by releasing a horde of walkers onto the unsuspecting Governor. He’s overtaken, and Andrea walks away triumphantly to the sounds of their happy gnawing. But it’s not the end for his Honor the Governor – after all these episodes setting up his demise, he can’t be taken down by walkers. Oh no, a worse fate must be in store for him.
In the light of dawn, Andrea finally comes upon the prison. Battle weary, she raises her hand to wave to Rick on the watchtower – but the Governor springs out the underbrush and pins her down. From his perch, Rick notices something at the edge of the woods. But you know, it’s probably his mind playing tricks on him (seeing as how he spent an entire episode in that very sector just outside the prison grounds chatting with Lori’s spectre – oh frailty!), and he does nothing. Andrea’s now the Gov’s prisoner.
The Governor returns to bad news: the Woodburyians have been busy in the night as well. Someone has driven out to the pits and torched every walker they had captive. He all but accuses Tyreese, and Tyreese all but admits it – until the Governor shrewdly asks where Tyreese got the gasoline. In Tyreese’s confused reply, the Governor realizes — Tyreese and Sasha didn’t burn the biters.
Exiting the headquarters to head back to his torture palace, the Governor happens upon Milton out for his afternoon constitutional. They chat casually about the burned walkers, Milton offering his sincere hope that they figure out who did it, and soon. But of course the Governor already knows. Luckily, Milton is a truly gifted liar and is able to throw the Governor off the track with his cunning small talk.
We pan slowly down the street, through the door of the Governor’s abode and around several dark and dank corners until finally Andrea is revealed in the catacombs of Woodbury – mouth taped shut and arms chained between two cement pillars. Guess you shouldn’t have gone back to Woodbury, Andrea, the last time you said you’d never go back to Woodbury.
Ah, fate – ye cruel mistress.
The only question left — is the Gov’s land of fun big enough for both Michonne and Andrea? We’ll have to wait till next week to find out.